Responsible Travel Report

Responsible Travel Report
The Sustainable Tourism e-Newsletter

A Message From STI

Dear Fellow Traveler,

You shop for food, clothes, cars, energy, and maybe even your job with a conscience, but how about your travel? If you’re planning summer travel, how does sustainability factor in to your booking decisions?

More travelers than ever are making choices based on how green their travel provider is. From flights to hotels to overland excursions, consumers care about the impacts of their vacations. With so many options out there to reduce these impacts—choosing certified hotels and resorts, supporting local providers, artisans and communities, etc.—the question today might be more along the lines of “How on Earth do you ever choose?”

It wasn’t so long ago that green travel options were few and far between. STI is proud to be on the forefront of the responsible travel movement. To say that it is rewarding to see the distance covered, the gaps bridged and the ground gained would be an understatement; there are so many achievements that have exceeded everyone’s expectations. To say that we’ve arrived to a point where we can feel totally sure our work here is done—well, that won’t do either, because we still have a ways to go.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing some landmark achievements, and the honor of reporting them to you as STI’s Director of Communications and Editor. From forming partnerships with major airlines, cruise lines, hotel and rental car chains, working to reduce carbon emissions and provide options for consumers to offset the unavoidable impacts of their travel, to the first Eco-certified luxury hotels through our Luxury Eco-Certification Standard (LECS), I consider myself lucky to have seen what a difference a relatively small group of dedicated people can do to affect change. Add the galvanizing power of Social Media to the equation, and we’ve got a force to be reckoned with.

That said, it’s bittersweet to report that this will be my last issue as Editor of the Responsible Travel Report. I am passing the torch to Matt Kareus, whose talents I admire, and who will keep you informed and inspire you to continue to make sustainable travel history. I’ll be joining you, on the other side, as a tour operator, and once again, as a fellow traveler as my new venture unfolds.

A warm welcome to Matt, and with it, he and I jointly bring you this June issue of the Responsible Travel Report. Read on to learn how to join our FREE Tourism Certification Webinar, do your part to save the Serengeti, and see how luxury hotels are joining the ranks of green travel crusaders.

Happy reading, and a heartfelt farewell,

Val Vanderpool, Editor

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